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Five Came Back (1939)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 23 June 1939 (USA)
A plane has engine trouble while flying over a jungle inhabited by cannibals.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

Jerome Cady (screenplay) (as Jerry Cady), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Bill
Lucille Ball ... Peggy Nolan
Wendy Barrie ... Alice Melhorne
John Carradine ... Crimp
Allen Jenkins ... Pete
Joseph Calleia ... Vasquez
C. Aubrey Smith ... Prof. Henry Spengler
Kent Taylor ... Joe Brooks
Patric Knowles ... Judson Ellis
Elisabeth Risdon ... Martha Spengler
Casey Johnson Casey Johnson ... Tommy Mulvaney
Dick Hogan ... Larry
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Storyline

Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety. Do both Bill and Joe make the flight out? And what about the rest: Peggy, a woman with a slightly tarnished past; Pete, a racketeer who is escorting his boss's young son Tommy; Alice and Judson, eloping lovers who seem to have less in common as their plight changes one of them in the other's eyes; Crimp, who is bringing criminal Vasquez to justice; Prof. and Mrs. Spengler, an elderly couple whom become closer due to their predicament; and finally, is ... Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Heaven's fury loosed! Judgment day-for courage, cowardice, love, scorching hate!..It's roaring adventure! (original print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinco Devem Viver See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$225,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Turner Classic Movies, there were real trees on the set for the jungle scenes. In one scene Lucille Ball was leaning against one of the prop trees and spiders crawled out of it and into her hair, sending her and the rest of the cast screaming and running. See more »

Goofs

Adding to the comments about the revolver: It is possible that a couple of the expended rounds had been removed earlier, from the cylinder. But, Vasquez shoots Ellis just before the plane takes off. And there's no indication and little time for him to remove that spent cartridge. See more »

Quotes

Vasquez: Hanging is such an unpleasant death. Besides, a hanged man always dies alone. I much prefer dying in the company of decent citizens like you... always provided I'm the last to die.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: The Galileo Seven (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice and Suspenseful
9 September 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Years ago in New York City I saw the re-make of this film Back from Eternity which was broadcast on WOR TV's Million Dollar movie program. For most of you too young to remember WOR was an RKO station and had access at the time to the entire RKO film library. Films would be run as much as five times a day for a week, like a movie theater.

Back from Eternity was fine, but Five Came Back was really something special. Fortunately RKO had those old King Kong jungle sets and used them for this film. Cut down the cost considerably.

No big names in the cast either. Lucille Ball was not a big name at the time she made it and she's light years from Lucy Ricardo in this. She's a cynical good time gal who's been hurt by one man too many. Chester Morris started the sound era in some A product at MGM, but now was at the B picture level. But they and the rest of the cast nicely fill their roles.

The plot is simple. Morris and co-pilot Kent Taylor are flying a small passenger airline over South America and are forced down in the middle of a rain forest. Some patch work repairs are done. But the plane won't get off the ground with a full load. Some choices have to be made.

But because Joseph Calleia gets a hold of a gun he winds up making the choices. He's a political prisoner being taken to his execution, escorted by policeman John Carradine. With native headhunters all around and them having killed a couple of the passengers already, time is critical.

It's a good film, but if you see either this one or the remake it will be spoiled should you have an opportunity to see the other later.


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